Home Alone for Christmas?

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This time of the year is coming when it feels strange if you spend Christmas alone. For the first time I felt the same. I thought how come I am spending such a wonderful time a year alone when I am not even old, my parents and my brother still are alive and I feel I do not want to spend Christmas with them?! Everybody around tells you it is such a special time you should (I hate this word!) spend it with your relatives. What if you do not really like your relatives? Shall you force yourself to be with them? Shall you visit them, pretend you want to be with them when in fact you are praying for the evening to be over? Why do we do this to ourselves? Why do we force ourselves to spend time with people we do not feel good with? Because the society says so? Because before Christmas and on TV as well as billboards we see these perfect commercials with perfect people sitting around the table who seem to be sharing and enjoying every moment of this special time? Do we live in such an illusion we can also have it with our own families when most of them are very imperfect? Do we think someting might change and improve our relationships with relatives during Christmas? Does this time really bring miracles?

I need to admit, the first time I decided not to visit my parents for Christmas, hurt. I spent Christmas Eve alone! Yep, alone! My father did not really show the respect for this time as he decided to work till midnight that day, to earn more money. He is a tram driver, so shifts he does are different ones and I do understand he needs to work in barbarian hours sometimes, but hey – it was Christmas! He did not need to take such a long shift, he could have finished at 6 pm, he had a choice! Yet he decided to neglect, in my opinion, Christmas Eve, and negate his own words when he was each year saying that Christmas is a family time and everyone should be with their families then. And he did exactly the opposite! It also made me wonder why grown ups say different things and later on act differently? If he said he did not give a damn about Christmas, I would understand his behaviour. Everyone has right to their own perspectives. So adults can act in a funny way some of the time. He went to work, and me, I decided I am spending this time at home, alone. As my relationship with my mother sucks and my brother is kind of good but totally irresponsible person, I admitted to myself I prefer to be home alone than in a bad company, even though this bad company occurred to be my own family :/ Felt strange at the beginning. The plan was simple – I had some dinner, a glass of wine, watched some TV. Nothing special, yet the company was special, because it was my own. 🙂 And the next day, when I woke up, I realized the drama did not happen. I was still alive and smiling. It only proved me the worst is always the first time. Whatever you do, the first time will always be most scary. I cannot say I was very happy about the fact my family sucks and is incredibly imperfect, but I realized if I do not want to take part in it, I do not have to. I am not going to force myself into spending time with people who have negative influence on me just because it is Christmas and they take part of my family. I prefered to visit my aunt the day after Christmas Eve instead. She lives a few kilometers outside of Warsaw and with her I can talk about everything – my life, my emotions, my travels and future plans. Even though she is 70 we get along perfectly and she supports me in every aspect of my life! This part of my family I love the most! 🙂 And I want to be surrounded only by people who wish me well and support me in achieving my goals. It makes me sad these are not my parents, yet I know I cannot change it. We do not choose families we are born into. However as an adult I can choose people I want to spend time with.

So this 2018 Christmas I am going to the mountains with a friend. The plan is to relax, do some hiking, maybe skiing, spend Christmas Eve just the two of us and share only positive emotions! Finally I am allowing myself to choose how and with who I want to spend this special time, instead of pretending I have a wonderful family that cares about each other when in fact it happens to be a very dysfunctional one. No point sacrificing my precious time with people who do not know how to love. This Christmas I am going to love my friend, and the mountains, and the snow, and the cold weather! 🙂

And I wish everybody to spend this special Christmas time with people you feel good with, who bring only positive emotions into your lives and make you happy! Life it too short to be surrounded by any aspect of the negativity 🙂

Sex and Warsaw City

I have lately realized that I like ruining stereotypes. The one I have just ruined concerns relationships. Usually it is considered quite normal for an older guy to be dating a very young girl. I’m not going to speak of the exact age while they are dating, because it doesn’t matter, what matters the most is the age difference between two people. When it comes to a woman, dating much younger guy is not considered to be accepted and normal within the society we happen to be surrounded by. So I got involved, a few months ago, into a relationship with a guy 14 years younger than me 🙂 I am 35, he is 21. We are both quite young though. At the beginning I also got a bit attached to the stereotype and considered him too young for a relationship. I falsely assumed I am too old for him and we probably wouldn’t get along. However seeing him as a friend was not a big problem for me. Why? Why would I be able to make him one of my friends, but when it comes to love affair I was stopping myself from any emotional involvements? But then I changed my way of thinking as I followed my heart. I need to admit this relationship was one of the best ones I have ever created! From the moment we met, we had lots of things in common, lots of subjects to discuss, lots of similar interests, and there was this amazing chemistry between us that you don’t get with everybody. The only thing stopping me from having sex with this guy was his age! We felt so at ease with each other that we could spend all night talking about life, exchanging our points of view and sharing life experience. So after a few days I realized there is no way I’m going to control myself more as I felt an incredible emotional connection between us. The question arose – why would I discipline myself and hide the feelings I had toward this guy just because of the age difference? There is 14 years difference between, so what?! 🙂 When I compare him to some of the guys I happened to date and were a bit older than me – around 40, I found them so immature, insecure, not understanding my emotions and acting like kids, that I did not want to get into any relationships with them. Yet they were older what seems fine for the judgmental society. However their ego and insecurity made me realize I do not want to stick to such men. And then comes into my life this 21-year-old, brings peace and quiet, is emotionally well-balanced and doesn’t fight any battles inside himself. I feel and see how easy-going, relaxed and cheerful this person is and then I start wondering how come such a young guy can be so matured compared to much older ones that I totally do not want to date?!In one of an interview with a psychologist I read that women tend to get along best with men who lived in symbiosis with their mothers. My latest experience only proves this theory right! Do not interpret it that these mothers were overprotective, it only means they were able to create and be in a healthy emotional relationship with their sons. So thank you these types of mothers – you are really doing a great job!
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After a few days I spent with him I realized I’m not going to stick into this stereotype and stop myself from having sex with him only because I’m much older. I felt shouldn’t be doing that only because from a 35-year-old woman you would expect decency. What a crap! 🙂 I listened to myself, followed my emotions and do not regret every single minute of it, because I spent the most incredible time with him full of love, calmness, interesting conversations, amazing sex, chemistry, passion, and tenderness. 🙂 It only leaves me with wanting more of him and his incredible well-balanced personality. Even though he had to leave, as he was only visiting Warsaw for a few weeks, I will never forget him and will try the see him again as soon as possible.

What is very important to me in this story is that I ruined another stereotype in my life. That is that a woman can get involved in a relationship with a much younger guy and it can work out! It is only a matter of personality when it comes to people we meet and invite into our lives, not a matter of age. It doesn’t mean the older you are the smarter you get. That is bullshit! We, as people, tend to judge everything – relationships, the way others act and think, their opinions, their way of life and many other things. I know the only person that can live and feel my life is myself. I have always liked doing things in a totally different way the society tells to do. In this case, if I listened to another stereotype I would have never allowed myself to get involved with 21-year-old and I would have never experienced such a wonderful relationship. The best was for me to listen to myself, my needs, my emotions and follow my heart. 🙂 I wish he didn’t leave, I wish he stayed longer, yet I know he has his plans for life and we managed to meet only for a certain amount of time. I’m grateful I allowed myself to make the best use of this time and gained in return not only another life experience, but a lot of love, respect and tenderness! I know now that men I want to build relationships with, must be the ones that don’t have any problems with their egos and are well-balanced. I love learning through my own actions and need to say I don’t care what the society says. I am aware I might be judged, but these who do not allow themselves to live a real life will never experience what I had with this 14 years old younger guy! 🙂 So thank you my life for this incredible experience!

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Polish Girl Independence

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This month there was 100th Independence anniversary of Poland and such a celebration  made me wonder what it means to me? Poland disappeared from the world map for 123 years. Only after the First World War it gained its independence back. How about its people? How about me? What does it mean to be independent?

For me independence, and in the same freedom, is the ability to make my own decisions, deal with its consequences, and most importantly – not to be judged as well as lead the life I want to live. When I have a good look at Polish history, my analysis brings me to a conclusion that during the communist times I would never be able to buy my own flat and live on my own! I would need to get married to leave my parens home. It wouldn’t mean to live only with the husband and starting a new family with him, probably I would need to move from my parents’ to my husband‘s family as during these times it was not at all easy to get your own apartment. You had to sign up a wating list and wait a few long years to be assigned one. Of course it was not even certain you would! I remember in the flat of 54 m², where I spent my childhood, were living three generations: my grandparents, my parents, me and my brother. Three rooms – three separate ones – each for one of the generations. Nowadays, when I compare the conditions I spent my childhood in with the ones I live now, it shows me how my perception of having my own space changed. I live in a flat of 48 m² and cannot imagine having a kid there. However I remember spending my childhood and sharing a room with my brother of 9 m². We managed, there was no other way. I remember I envied my friends who, when living with their parents and their siblings, still had their own room. For me that meant they had their own space and were allowed some privacy. I can’t say I had such an opportunity. That is probably why now I need a lot of my own space and privacy. In my opinion everybody needs it. We need to have our own corner where we are able to calm ourselves down and know that is the only place no one else has access to without our permission.

From one hand independence and freedom for me is to have my own physical space in life. On the other hand it is also making my own decisions without being judged. I tend to claim that the only person, at the end of each day, that is allowed do judge me in any way – is myself.

I also think that I happen to live in the most incredible times! Yes!!! Amazing ones 🙂 I can travel as much as I can, and where I want, as long my budget allows me to do so. I think money is just money, these can always be earned. The most important is that I can choose whatever destination, then take a flight and just go! 🙂 Isn’t that lovely? Within a few hours I can be on the other side of the globe! I wouldn’t be able to do so, in such an easy way, during the communist times. Luckily I was only seven when capitalism arrived to Poland and I don’t really remember a lot from communism. I think with my free spirit and eager to travel, meeting international people, visiting as many places as possible, I would feel a prisoner in Poland about 40 years ago. I am incredibly happy living in a free country now that allows me to buy my own flat, to make my own decisions, keep the passport at home and use it whenever I want it, to host foreigners, to observe how the city I was born in and live is changing and how colourful blocks of flats are becoming as well as notice how many tourists are coming to visit Poland. I am amazed how much Warsaw, the capital, grately changed during only 28 years of capitalism. Looks like freedom also means development.

Independence is something you cannot buy in my opinion. It is something you need to fight for, like I was fighting to buy my own flat that brought a lot of autonomy into my life. Nobody controls who I am inviting into it and in the same into my life. If I was still living with my parents, they would see who I am meeting and most probable they would make their own observations and comments about my friends I would not really want to listen to. I do not like being controlled by anyone or judged, even if these people are parents who do not wish me bad. As a grown-up I know, and I am aware, that the only person responsible for my life is myself. I stick to my beliefs, try to make reasonable decisions, and if some occur to be wrong I deal with the consequences, so I only try to make these that don’t hurt. 😉 Apart from living on my own, making my own decisions and sharing my positive emotions with others, taking responsibility for myself is the biggest independence and freedom I have ever achieved in my life. Even though capitalism may not be one the best systems, it gave me the possibility to have at least a bit of autonomy in this crazy, egoistic and commercialized world. 🙂

73-year-old Couchsurfer

Can you imagine how surprised I was when a few weeks ago I received a request to host a 73-year-old woman?! I consider the couchsurfing website as the one mostly used by quite young people, aged 20 to 40. This time however, and for the first time in my whole couchsurfing adventure, I received a request from an old woman! Unfortunately I need use such an adjective as “old” because there is no better equivalent. I accepted her even though I had some doubts if we get along. And again another person brought new perceptions and a lot of new ideas into my life! 🙂 What makes her amazing is that she learnt English only when she was 40, as her biggest dream was to visit the United States. She managed to do so, and even worked for a whole year there. She started travelling once her two sons grew up and moved out to make their own families. In my opinion it was her second chance to make the most of her life. In her case the statement in which some claim that life begins after 40 makes sense and proves it right 🙂 While observing her I noticed only the generation gap between us, especially when it comes to technology. However she made me so surprised and amazed with her eagerness to travel, willingness to get to know the world, being incredibly open-minded, having such a free spirit as well as using couchsurfing both ways –  to be hosted in strangers’ houses and hosting others.

Usually 70 something people are considered more as grandparents who usually stay home, watch TV, do some crosswords, take care of grandchildren and tend to have many illnesses. She was completely not that type! She is a great example that at any age you can fulfill your dreams, only if you really want them to happen. In my opinion it takes a lot of courage to travel alone when you are a pensioner. On the other hand she made me wonder who I will be by the age of 70? First of all will I still be alive, second of all will I still be travelling alone? Will I be in good physical condition to travel? Will I be willing to be hosted by strangers? Will I still be hosting? She made me wonder a bit about my future and where my life experience may lead me.

I think the most important is that she brought a lot of positive energy into my life and shows an amazing example that it is only a matter of strong personality and willingness to achieve your goal –  the age cannot even stop you! I realized I only want to be surrounded by such amazing people who show me there are no boundaries in anyone’s life and the only one who can stop us from fulfilling our dreams is ourselves, our fear of failure and million excuses! 🙂

Guilty Laziness

Today I came into thinking why do I, and probably most of the people, while resting and doing nothing, feel guilty about it. I woke up in the morning, around 9 am, as it was a Sunday and I did not need to rush anywhere, had some breakfast, some morning coffee, watched a bit of TV, and by 11 am I decided to lay down again and have some rest. A few hours later I found myself lying on my bed, hugging a teddy bear, [I know I’m 35 and still hugging a teddy bear ;)] and almost falling asleep again. I did not allow myself to do so, as I kept having this thought on my mind that I’m not being productive. It did not matter it was a lazy Sunday morning, and I did not have to rush anywhere, I was being unproductive!

Then the question came to my mind – why the hell do I feel guilty? It’s my day off, I don’t have any kids to take care of, moreover it’s a national holiday in Poland, so all of the shops and shopping malls are closed. Not that my way of spending Sunday morning is shopping, it just came into my mind as an excuse and explanation to allow myself a bit of laziness. Why don’t I allow myself just to lay down for a couple of hours on a Sunday? Do I always need to be productive? Do I always need to do something to feel useful for the society? Isn’t it good sometimes just to do nothing even if it takes the whole morning? Where does it come from that we quite often feel guilty when we allow ourselves to take things slow, even very slow? 🙂 Probably these who are mothers would envy me having such an opportunity to do nothing for a few hours, yet even by being a bit privileged I felt guilty. On the other hand I don’t feel that guilty when I’m lying down on the couch watching TV, but lying down on my bed and being with myself in silence made me feel acting lazy. The weather also wasn’t helping, because it was grey outside. And after a few hours of doing nothing I decided to put my clothes on and go out jogging. It made me feel at least a bit productive for the day 🙂

However it still makes me wonder why, even if I allow myself such a Sunday once in a few months for this kind of laziness, it still makes me feel remorseful. Why do I always demand from myself to be so responsible and reasonable and not to waste time? Isn’t spending time in silence, just with yourself and your own thoughts, also a productive time? May you then find out many things about yourself as well as develop emotionally? I decided that I will allow myself  to be lazy on Sunday mornings more often 🙂 It is really not a bad thing, especially if you don’t have a day fully planned and booked with tasks. That is usually how my working week looks. Isn’t it that we kind of feel obliged by the society to be always in shape with many tasks on our hands, just to feel useful? And it feels soooo good to lay down, from time to time, and just do nothing! 😀

When Enough is Really Enough?

I was wondering lately what does it mean to have enough. When enough is really enough? And what does it mean to have enough in life?
I started analyzing it was after hearing in a radio a commercial created for one of a discount shop in Poland. The guys there were singing about buying more and again buying more. It made me then wonder when it will be enough? Not only for them, but mostly for myself. What enough means for each of us? What is enough for me? Do I still want more? Do I really need more? Or do I have enough?
In my case enough was buying my own flat, even though I am still paying the mortgage for it. I can’t say I need a bigger one or I would like to buy a house – that would mean not having enough and still wanting more. Do I want more? No I don’t. So I think I have fulfilled my need of having enough. 🙂 By realizing this fact I am now able to enjoy my “enough” fulfilled dream 🙂
However what is enough for others? Have they reached their enough level? Will they ever have enough? Will they always want more or will they get into the point when they will finally have enough? Will they even enjoy their enough? Or are we, as human beings, will always be wanting more and will never have enough? Is this happening because of the society always requiring from us to have and want more? Do we feel better by buying more and more things we usually don’t need that much, but the commercials we see around and on every corners are so convincing, that we believe we don’t have enough and shall want more?
For me enough is to have a nice and warm flat; to fulfill my basic needs as having something to eat and a central heating for the winter; to afford incredible and adventurous travels; read an interesting and educating books; go to the cinema or theatre once in a while; meet and talk to interesting people over a glass of wine or a beer from time to time and exchange our points of view about life; host some foreigners and learn from them their way of life; and the most important – to feel free. Kind of basic needs I would say 🙂
Summing up I need to admit I have reached my enough level. It makes me feel happy in my life 🙂 How about you? Have you reached your enough level? Or are you still searching to get an answer of what enough means in your life?

Parentification

During my whole therapy I came across a term parentification. What does it really mean? And how does it affect adult life of these who have been through such a trauma?

Parentification is simply quickly becoming a parent once you’re still a child. Sounds terrible, doesn’t it? There are two types of parentification, one is a physical one meaning you need to take care of a sick parent, for example a handicapped one; the second is an emotional one and happens when you take care of, in an emotional way, a parent who is incapable of handling their emotions. I am sure many of us have been through such situations, yet we do not realise it. However it has an incredible affection on our adult lives and the way we build relationships with others. I noticed, and it also concerns my example, that people who lived through parentification always know everything best, always have the best solution, always try to predict consequences of somebody else’s actions, most of the time feel insecure, and the worst is that they think they have the power to make somebody else’s life better by giving good advice. At least now I am aware of me not being able to have the best solution to every problem and I just don’t give my opinion when I am not asked. Everyone has their own way of living their lives and it is not possible to make anyone happy if they do not want to feel so.

The parentification that happened in my life was an emotional one. As my mother abandoned me emotionally when I was a child, I instinctively got closer to my father, and everything would be totally fine if not the fact that I became his partner while still being a kid. My mother was not able to handle her own emotions, be right next to him and create a partnership marriage. For me it is incredible how subconsciously we, as people, create toxic relation within the same family. Handling my father emotionally, while being a kid and later on a teenager, was too much. Listening to his complaints, to what he’s been through at work, comforting him, cheering him up while he was in a bad mood, in my opinion was really too much for a young girl. I think when people get married, both of them a man and a woman, are looking for partners in their lives. If it happens they do not find a partner relation with the one they married, they are looking for it somewhere else. That is probably why people cheat. In my family case my father could’ve cheated on my mother and find another woman who would fulfil his emotional needs, yet he didn’t do so. In return he found in his daughter, that is me, a potential to become his life partner and unconsciously continued it for about 20 years. That was the amount of time for me to realize it and change dependency between us. Amazing, isn’t it?

Another hard example from my life showing parentification, and the one I still remember, is paying the bills when being a seven-year-old girl. The technology was not that well-developed as it is now. Today what I do is just several online bank account money transfers and within a few seconds all of my bills are paid 🙂 However in 1990s in Poland, and probably in other countries too, to pay the bills you had to go to the post office. As everyone was getting their salaries by the 10th every month, you can imagine the queues there! My duty, as a kid, beginning of each month and after school going to the post office and stand there for about two hours to pay all of the monthly bills. Was that really a task for a seven-year-old? Now I know it was not. Now I know they shouldn’t have done that. What is more, during the time I was standing in the queue paying all of my parents bills, my father was sitting in front of TV smoking cigarettes and drinking tea. At least he was not an alcoholic 🙂 Thank you the universe he usually was drinking tea after work! 🙂

From one hand I know it was too much for me to handle, as managing a grown-up while still being a kid is not really a task to fulfill in the childhood. On the other hand it taught me incredible responsibility, but now when I observe myself I would even say too much of it as I keep demanding a lot from myself as well as I can be quite hard on me too. Anyway I am on a good path in changing that 🙂 I start being less responsible, give myself permission to make mistakes and not being perfect all of the time.

How was it in other people’s’ lives? How much parents demanded from them? How much of their unsolved emotional problems were put on kids? Are there people who had a great childhood with parents who knew what love is all about? In my case and in my childhood life everything was all about my parents, it was never about their kids. However now, when I am myself an adult, and try to live consciously, I am able not to repeat my parents’ mistakes. Becoming self-aware is the best thing that ever happened to me! 🙂